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Lobbyist Reprimanded, Oklahoma Impact Team Sparked Investigation

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The Ethics Commission has reprimanded lobbyist Ashley Varner for spending too much on dinners for legislators. The Ethics Commission has reprimanded lobbyist Ashley Varner for spending too much on dinners for legislators.

By Amy Lester, Oklahoma Impact Team

A state agency takes action after the Oklahoma Impact Team uncovers someone breaking state law. Back in November, we reported that some lobbyists were not following Ethics Commission rules. We first discovered that Ashley Varner, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, was spending too much on dinners for lawmakers. We reported this to the Executive Director of the Ethics Commission, last fall.

Watch the original story

The Commission just sent a letter to Varner, reprimanding her for spending a thousand more than the law allows. Varner says this happened because she confused Oklahoma and Indiana's lobbyist laws.

Read the press release and reprimand letter.

In November, Varner released a statement saying, "As soon as NRA was made aware of this mistake, steps were taken to address the matter. We have contacted the Oklahoma Ethics Commission and we're working with them to ensure full compliance."

Legislators who received the extra payments, in the form of dinners, have since paid the money back to the NRA.

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